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What are you watching? -- February 2005


Marty
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Mod's note -- If this topic makes no sense, it's because all the match reviews were pulled out afterward and posted in the match reviews folder that we didn't have at the time, but that we now have. Check it out, it'll make much more sense than this thread. -- Loss 05/02/05

 

Apologies for the lack of details on this, but I picked up SummerSlam 1999 on DVD at a local discount store (along with five others). Very mediocre PPV which was nearing the end of Vince Russo's time with the WWF. The main event was really nothing to write home about, a lot of the work was very pedestrian (not surprising since Benoit & Friends hadn't joined yet), and Jericho had an off-night on the stick. To make matters worse, the main event had three alternative commentaries (done by Austin, HHH, and Foley) and from the sounds of it (I only caught a bit of Austin's and Foley's and mainly listened to HHH's, which wound up putting me to sleep), they're all kayfabed (as opposed to the interesting commentary providing on today's DVDs, such as the ECW one). Finally, I have a question to anyone who saw the show, both live and on release: Did Jeff Jarrett get the most piped-in heel heat in history for a WWF release?

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Guest Crucifixio Jones

I think that's due in part to Bret being such a huge mark for himself. Even with brain damage he can remember every minute detail about his wrestling career.

 

In a way, it's kinda sad.

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Well, there's that, and the fact that he grew up in the business, and that his dad was a promoter and his brothers were all wrestlers. His sisters all married wrestlers. I won't disagree that Bret's a mark for himself, but I guess being around wrestling all of his life has made it a bigger part of his being and it ties into everything from the way he views his family to thinking about why he lost his brother to wondering why he has constant headaches because of multiple concussions. That doesn't change the fact that he's one of the most shameless self promoters there is, but I can at least understand it.

 

Thinking about the downward spiral his life has taken since 1997 is actually really sad, considering that his brother died before his time, he went through a divorce, he suffered a stroke, he has brain damage and his family has pretty much been torn apart through infighting. I do hope whatever he's doing, he's happy, because Lord knows he deserves it.

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Well, there's that, and the fact that he grew up in the business, and that his dad was a promoter and his brothers were all wrestlers. His sisters all married wrestlers. I won't disagree that Bret's a mark for himself, but I guess being around wrestling all of his life has made it a bigger part of his being and it ties into everything from the way he views his family to thinking about why he lost his brother to wondering why he has constant headaches because of multiple concussions. That doesn't change the fact that he's one of the most shameless self promoters there is, but I can at least understand it.

 

Thinking about the downward spiral his life has taken since 1997 is actually really sad, considering that his brother died before his time, he went through a divorce, he suffered a stroke, he has brain damage and his family has pretty much been torn apart through infighting. I do hope whatever he's doing, he's happy, because Lord knows he deserves it.

Posted Image

 

He *seems* happy...

 

Loss, you can also add the death of his two parents as part of his downward spiral. I think he's on his 2nd marriage now.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

I wasn't even aware Hart had gotten divorced. And I'd expect him to be a mark for himself. Wrestling is basically all he knows, so he dedicated his life to living and breathing it every moment. You're bound to think of yourself highly through those methods.

 

And man, I watch so little wrestling these days, but have been doing some viewing through DVD. I got the RVD DVD for $5.99 through an Internet misprice, so I was checking that out most of last week.

 

It's funny that Rob had such a bad rep for his work before coming to WWE, but he did have solid matches before then. I just think being paired up with the likes of Sabu didn't help his sense of pace and timing within the context of a match.

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Guest Some Guy

I watched the RVD DVD last night and he is really overrated there is zero psychology in his matches in ECW. He really needs a good worker to keep him in the match as evidenced by the match against Jericho being the best non-gimmick match on the set. The guy seems to think that a wretling match is only good when it resembles an episode of the Power Rangers. There is no consistant selling in any of his matches, he'll get busted open the hardway and just jump up adn point at himself. Oddly there are only 3 WWE matches on the set, considering on the nWo DVD they spent roughly half the disc on the WWF version of the group. There are 2 WCW matches (nothing special), and 11 ECW matches (with the Lynn ones being the only matches I woudl consider "good"). There's no bio piece on this, it's more like HBK's with short intros and then the match, with a few thigns from Confidential.

He and Heymen do commentaries on two matches and neither are very good. The commentraies actuallt get annoying as Heymen constantly puts over how great ECW was and RVD puts over how great he is/was. The commentaries were on RVD vs. Sabu (which was about what you'd expect from them, at least they didn't put the 30 minute draw which saw Sabu puke of the side of the ring because he was so blown up) and vs. Ballz in a really boring match (RVD does a summersault plancha into the crowd, I think that's the only reason it made the cut). The Jerry Lynn matches were pretty decent but most of them were just some cool spots in between RVD pointing at his head for 5 minutes.

 

RVD says that ECW was his favorite part of his career and he doesn't like doing 5 minute matches. He said that he loved being hardcore champ but they dropped because he was too good for people to keep up with him.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

No doubt there's little, if any, psychology incorporated into a typical RVD match. But I think psychology tends to be overrated in a lot of instances. What's the point of working on a leg for 15 minutes if it plays no role in the conclusion of the match?

 

I don't mind all the flipping around; the standing around and stalling in between are just what hurts it all. His WWE matches are where it's at in this set, since they all feature a fast pace and more crisp flow of things.

 

And I liked the intro approach to the set. I don't think an RVD bio would be all that interesting, so a quick intro for each segment worked for me.

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No doubt there's little, if any, psychology incorporated into a typical RVD match. But I think psychology tends to be overrated in a lot of instances. What's the point of working on a leg for 15 minutes if it plays no role in the conclusion of the match?

i don't like your use of the word here. Psychology isn't overrated. What you described here is BAD psychology.
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Guest Some Guy

For RVD, all he'd have to do make for passable psychology would be to kick his opponent in the ribs rather than the head to set up for the Splash. It really wouldn't be that hard or require much change in style for his matches to make any sense.

 

If you watch his 96 matches, before the pointing gimmick, they still suck. He says in the commentary for the Sabu match that he hyperextended his knee the night before, Sabu pays a little bit of attention to it and RVD doesn't sell it through out the match. The guy didn't sell a real injury that had been (sort of) worked on with a couple dropkicks to the knee and a half crab.

 

And for anybody who still thinks Sabu is anything but the drizzling shits in the ring watch the two matches on the set. In one the matches Sabu blows 3 spots (one wasn't his fault as the ropes were fucked up, but...). I can see the appeal of the highspots for both he and RVD but they don't do anything different. It's the same highspots over and over that don't lead to anything with nothing in between to hold interest.

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

There's different ways to look at wrestling. You can look at it as two guys simulating a real fight where it's real tight work and they are always looking towards the finish (UWF-i is a good example of this); you can see it as an epic story being told and everything is over-the-top and exaggerated where the moves don't nearly mean as much as the story that is being told (I think the Misawa/Kawada matches fit this, which may get some scoffs. To me, a lot of stuff in Misawa/Kawada matches, or AJPW matches that I have seen, have spots that would never ever ever happen in real life. They don't make sense in real life. But in terms of the story it does. This involves more suspension of disbelief than the first version); you can look at it as the WWE does which is a loose version of the "epic story" which focuses primarily on high spots to pop a crowd and contains certain formulas; or you can look at it in an aesthetic way (which the WWE also does to a certain extent) where the movement of the wrestlers is key. RVD falls into the last section. He's an acrobat. There is no depth in his matches, his sole purpose is to make you go "oooh!". If he does, then he's good at what he does. Now, which way is the best way? Which way do you define wrestling? That's the question that should be asked.

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Perhaps great wrestling should have elements of all of those things, without getting too married to any particular concept. There are so many different styles, all of which have their pros and cons. I'm hesitant to say good wrestling is going to be confined to one style and bad wrestling to another.

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Do you look at film the same way? Is there a reason why Dramas tend to win out over comedies?

 

Michinoku Pro meshed all them together, I can recall a Sasuke/TAKA match that went from mat wrestling and submissions, to striking, to high spots and followed a certain formula... it lacked the "epic" storytelling though. I think a great wrestling _show_ should have all elements, but you would be extending yourself by trying to shoot the moon for all elements.

I do look at film the same way. There are comedies I enjoy and dramas I enjoy. I think dramas tend to win out just because comedies sometimes sacrifice an emotional connection with the audience for a cheap laugh. A good drama has funny moments, but also has other elements.

 

I don't think one match could possibly encompass every single thing that's great about wrestling. That's why there's more than one great wrestling match.

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I wasn't even aware Hart had gotten divorced. And I'd expect him to be a mark for himself. Wrestling is basically all he knows, so he dedicated his life to living and breathing it every moment. You're bound to think of yourself highly through those methods.

IIRC, he got divorced in late 1998. Re-married sometime last year.
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